These challenging economic times require us to be thoughtful, open minded and most of all sensitive to the drivers that make your business successful.We’ve been through two recessions since the 80’s and it is clear that the short and long term affects of cutting marketing efforts have proven to be negative. So, then what else should you be doing? Take calculated action, carefully assessing what you are doing (from a marketing standpoint) and focus on those areas that will yield the best results.
Here are seven valuable recommendations for marketing in these challenging times:
1. Nurture: Michael Corbett in his book “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” stated, “All the advertising you can afford isn’t worth the customers you already have.” He wrote that in 1965 and it’s still true today. Look at your existing relationships, what are you doing to solidify them. Don’t spend a dime on advertising till you have a consistent outreach program to your customers. Create recession-friendly offers.
2. Value: Your value proposition is more critical than ever before. Consumers (both B-B and B-C) are looking at value now as the primary differentiator. Remember, value is perceptive. It’s not your perception of value it’s your customer’s perception. Create one that is unique and one that you can own.
3. Align your site: The importance of your website cannot be understated. It needs be aligned with your sales process and represent your company and your brand faithfully. Your website should download quickly, be searchable, and loaded with content that supports your brand. In addition, you should plan to update it frequently with fresh content. Search engines, and your customers, love that.
4. Interact: Think of interactions, not transactions. This go-to-market strategy is powerful and is precisely what is needed in today’s marketplace. Your marketing message is not in your control anymore, the consumer has it. So use your company’s wisdom to create dialogues with your prospects and your customers in all media vehicles and customer touch points.
5. L.H.F.: Focus on your Low Hanging Fruit. These are customers and prospects that are most likely to do business with you. If you’re not sure who these people/businesses are, you need to rigorously analyze your database to find out. It will pay off in a better return on your marketing dollar.
6. Market Intelligently: Create the right mix of short-term direct tactics with planned long-term branding initiatives. It’s important to take advantage of whatever opportunities are available. Media rates are down and negotiable. Your competition is spending less and there’s more opportunity.
7. Get Social: Start to dip your toe into the social media waters. SEO, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging – and the list keeps growing. If you’re not sure what to do, we can show you how to navigate this new world.
Be smart, be thoughtful – there are always opportunities.